Page images

the sermons of our blessed Lord, and of his apostles; but especially in the fifth, sixth, and seventh chapters of St. Matthew'.




I believe in God.

I BELIEVE that there is a God who is one, true, supreme, and alone, infinitely wise, just, good, free, eternal, immense, and blessed, and in him alone we are to put our trust".

The Father Almighty.

I believe that he is, 1. The Father of our Lord Jesus Christ; and, 2. Of all that believe in him, whom he hath begotten by his word, and adopted to the inheritance of sons and because he is our Father, he will do us all that good to which we are created and designed by grace; and because he is almighty, he is able to perform it all; and, therefore, we may safely believe in him, and rely upon him ».

Maker of heaven and earth.

He made the sun and the moon, the stars, and all the regions of glory; he made the air, the earth, and the water, and all that live in them; he made angels and men, and he who made them, does, and he only can, preserve them in the

Read also Rom. xii. Eph. v. and vi.

a Luke, vi. $5. Deut. x. 17. and vi. 4. John, xvii. 3. 1 Thess. i. 9. Psal. xc. xev, 3. and cxlvii. 5. Rom. xvi. 17. Psal. cxix. 137. 1 Chron. xvi. 34. Exod. xxxiii. 19. 1 Tim. i. 11.

1 Thes. v.


Mark, xii. 29, 32. 1 Cor. viii. 4. and xciii. 2. and lxxvii. 13. and 1 Tim. i, 17. 2 Chron. xix. 7. Psal. xxxiv. 8. and cxxxv. 6.

John, viii. 58. Rom. viii. 29, 32. Matt. xxiv. 36. Heb. ii. 11. 1 Pet. i. 23.

1 Cor. viii. 6. and xv. 24. Gal. iv. 4.

same being, and thrust them forward to a better; he that preserves them, does also govern them, and intends they should minister to his glory: and, therefore, we are to do worship and obedience to him in all that we can, and that he hath commanded".

And in Jesus Christ.

I also believe in Jesus Christ, who is, and is called a Saviour, and the Anointed of the Lord, promised to the patriarchs, whom God anointed with the Holy Spirit, and with power to become the great Prophet, and Declarer of his Father's will to all the world, telling us how God will be worshipped and served; he is anointed to be the Mediator of the new covenant, and our High Priest, reconciling us to his Father by the sacrifice of himself; and to be the great King of all the world: and by this article we are Christians, who serve and worship God the Father through Jesus. Christ d.

His only Son.

Jesus Christ is the Son of God, he alone, of him alone: for God, by his Holy Spirit, caused him to be born of a virgin: by his power he raised him from the dead, and gave him à new birth, or being in the body: he gave him all power and all excellency; and beyond all this, he is the express image of his person, the brightness of his glory, equal to God, beloved before the beginning of the world, of a nature perfectly divine; very God by essence, and very man by assumption; as God, all one in nature with the Father; and as man, one person in himself".

Our Lord.

Jesus Christ, God's only Son, is the heir of all things and persons in his Father's house: all angels and men are his servants, and all the creatures obey him; we are to believe

c Isaiah, lxv. 17. and lxvi. 12. Acts, iv. 24. Psal. xxxvi. 7, 8. Matt. v. 26. Matt. iv. 10. and x. 29, 30. Rev. xiv. 7. d Matt. i. 20. John, iii. S4. Acts, x. 28. and iii. 22, 23. and i. 8. and vi. 7, 21. Rev. i. 5. Acts, xi. 26. and xxvi. 28. e Luke, i. 32. Rom. i. 3, 4. 1 John, v. 9, &c. and iv. John, i. 11. Col. i. 15, 17, 18. Heb. i. 3, 5. Phil. ii. 6. and v. 19. Col. ii. 9,-10. John, xvii. 24.

Heb. xii. 24. 1 Pet. iv. 16. 15. and v. 5. John, iii. 35.

in him, and by faith in him only, and in his name we shall be saved f.

Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost.

I believe that Jesus Christ was not begotten of a man, nor born by natural means, but that a divine power from God, God's Holy Spirit, did overshadow the virgin-mother of Christ, and made her, in a wonderful manner, to conceive Jesus in her womb; and by this his admirable manner of being conceived, he was the Son of God alone, and no man was his fathers.

Born of the Virgin Mary.

Though God was his Father, and he begat him by the power of the Holy Ghost, and caused him miraculously to begin in the womb of his mother, yet from her he also derived his human nature, and by his mother he was of the family of king David, and called the Son of Man, his mother being a holy person, not chosen to this great honour for her wealth or beauty, but by the good will of God, and because she was of a rare exemplar modesty and humility: and she received the honour of being a mother to the Son of God, and ever a virgin, and all generations shall call her blessed 1.

Suffered under Pontius Pilate.

After that Jesus passed through the state of infancy and childhood, being subject to his parents, and working in an humble trade to serve his own and his mother's needs, he grew to the state of a man, he began to preach at the age of thirty years, and having, for about three years and a half, preached the Gospel, and taught us his Father's will, having spoken the Gospel of his kingdom, and revealed to us the secrets of eternal life, and resurrection of the dead, regeneration, and renewing by the Holy Spirit, perfect remission of sins, and eternal judgment: at last, that he might reconcile the world to his Father, he became a sacrifice for all our

Matt. xxviii. 18. Acts, ii. 36. Psal. ii. 6, 7, &c. 1 Cor. viii. 6. Heb. i. 6, 14, 15. 1 Pet. i. 21.

Gal. iv. 4. Luke, i. 32.

Matt. i. 18. Luke, i. 45, 48. Matt. i. 25.

Luke, i. 35.
Luke, i. 26, &c.

sins, and suffered himself to be taken by the malicious Jews, and put to a painful and shameful death; they being envious at him for the number of his disciples, and the reputation of his person, the innocence of his life, the mightiness of his miracles, and the power of his doctrine: and this death he suffered, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea'.

Was crucified.

Jesus Christ being taken by the rulers of the Jews, bound, and derided, buffeted and spit upon, accused weakly, and persecuted violently; at last, wanting matter and pretences to condemn him, they asked him of his person and office; and because he affirmed that great truth, which all the world of good men longed for, that he was the Messias, and designed to sit at the right hand of the Majesty on high, they resolved to call it blasphemy, and delivered him over to Pilate, and by importunity and threats, forced him, against his conscience, to give him up to be scourged, and then to be crucified. The soldiers, therefore, mocking him with a robe and a reed, and pressing a crown of thorns upon his head, led him to the place of his death; compelling him to bear his cross, to which they presently nailed him; on which for three hours he hanged in extreme torture, being a sad spectacle of the most afflicted and the most innocent person of the whole world.


When the holy Jesus was wearied with tortures, and he knew all things were now fulfilled, and his Father's wrath appeased towards mankind: his Father, pitying his innocent Son groaning under such intolerable miseries, hastened his death; and Jesus, commending his Spirit into the hands of his Father, cried with a loud voice, bowed his head, and died; and by his death sealed all the doctrines and revelations which he first taught the world, and then confirmed by his blood: he was consecrated our merciful High Priest, and by a feeling of our miseries and temptations, became able to help them that are tempted: and for these his sufferings, was

Luke, ii. 51, 52. and iii. 23. John, iii. 4, &c. Acts, xiii. 39. Matt. xxv. 31, S2. Luke, xxii. 63. John, xviii. 4, 12, &c. Matt. xxvi.

Matt. xxvii. Mark, xv. Luke, xxiii. John, xix.

exalted to the highest throne, and seat of the right hand of God; and hath shown, that to heaven there is no surer way than suffering for his name; and hath taught us willingly to suffer for his sake, what himself hath already suffered for ours: he reconciled us to God by his death, led us to God, drew us to himself, redeemed us from all iniquity, purchased us for his Father, and for ever made us his servants and redeemed ones, that we being dead unto sin, might live unto God: and this death being so highly beneficial to us, he hath appointed means to apply to us, and to represent to God for us in the holy sacrament of his last supper. And upon all these considerations, that cross which was a smart and shame to our Lord, is honour to us, and as it turned to his glory, so also to our spiritual advantages'.

And buried.

That he might suffer every thing of human nature, he was, by the care of his friends and disciples, by the leave of Pilate, taken from the cross, and embalmed (as the manner of the Jews was to bury), and wrapt in linen, and buried in a new grave, hewn out of a rock; and this was the last and lowest step of his humiliation".

He descended into hell.

That is, he went down into the lower parts of the earth, or (as himself called it)" into the heart of the earth;" by which phrase the Scripture understands the state of separation, or of souls severed from their bodies: by this his descending to the land of darkness, where all things are forgotten, he sanctified the state of death and separation, that none of his servants might ever after fear the jaws of death and hell; whither he went, not to suffer torment (because he finished all that upon the cross), but to triumph over the gates of hell, to verify his death, and the event of his sufferings, and to break the iron bars of those lower

John, xix. John, xviii. 37. Phil. ii. 8. Col. i. 20. Heb. vii. 25. and ix. 12. and ii. 17, 18. and iv. 5. John, x. 17, 18. xii. 32. and xi. 51. Eph. ii. 13, 14. Heb. ii. 10. Col. i. 21, 22. Tit. ii. 14. John, vi. 51. 1 Pet. ii. 24. and iv. 13. 2 Tim. ii. 11.

Gal. vi. 14.

Matt. xxvii. 57, &c.

Isaiah, liii. 10. Luke, xxiii. 46.

« PreviousContinue »